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I'm aware that this struggle I have been grappling with may come across as strange, and I'm not quite sure how to address it. But, recently, I watched a video illuminating life through the lens of a middle school girl, and naturally, the issue of popularity arose. While it was a caricature of popularity and perhaps not the rawest interpretation, I still felt transported across the years. All of a sudden I felt so small again like I had become young and vulnerable. And all these worries about becoming popular ignited in me. The sheer shallowness and empty-mindedness of the girls alarmed me, and I was terrified of becoming like them. My entire life, I have been the antithesis of popular. Human interaction felt foreign and painful to me. I did fall into ruts of superficiality, toxic drama, and gossip for a while in middle school, as I was extremely unhealthy, but I arose from them and learned the beauty of who I was and completely abandoned the notion of trying to make friends together. But I always despised popularity, because it seemed so limiting, hurtful, and crushing. My brain cells felt like they were dying as I watched the video and I was afraid of becoming like those empty, heartless girls. Because even though I never was popular, I feel that maybe if I tried, or unleashed that side of me, then maybe I could be.

I suppose a glimmer of my heart does crave validation. I long for friends. Loneliness was a deep wound in my heart as a child, and I never felt known or appreciated or seen. But I have found a beauty in loneliness that I treasure. It has forged me into a stronger, more empathetic person. I'm afraid of losing myself. The fear of becoming shallow and popular keeps blistering me because I do harbor a small desire, and it could magnify. I'm afraid of falling into superficiality because it happened in the past and I don't want to lose myself again. I don't want to lose my own unique twist on the world or to sacrifice my depth for shallow, group toxicity. Even though I do crave deep and meaningful friendships that fill me with life I am terrified of becoming part of deathlike, soul-sucking friendships. My memories testify against me and that I would probably never become popular because of my deafening social anxiety, but in my heart, I do believe that if I truly tried to reinvent myself, then I could. I could become mean and shallow and evil. Especially as I head to college. I could transform into a completely different person, and it haunts me. In my heart, I am afraid that a catty, monstrous girl hides because I have witnessed her shades before. Even now I feel so stupid, the middle schooler inside of me combusting and permeating through my words, and depleting my brain cells. I know that my fear has no foundation, but it could. I could become a horrible, shallow person, and it alarms me. Does anyone else battle the same fear? How can I cope with it? I'm afraid of losing the beautiful, book-cherishing, absurdity-loving human I am within. I know that you can be popular and have depth. I know that you can be popular and good. Sometimes my heart aches for popular people because I see them as caged and lost in a plastic, empty world. I know that they aren't inferior, but they also can be toxic, and I am afraid of becoming like that. I am afraid of who I could become. I know that popularity is a myth that often dissolves after school and that I shouldn't let the past chain me, but it feels impossible. I feel so small again. I feel so young again. I feel fear and shame and desire ablaze in me all at once. I want friendships but I am so unacquainted with them that in the end I still fear what could happen. How I could fracture something as precious as a human relationship. I want to believe I am good but still this fear antagonizes me. What do I do?
 

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Validation. There are so many opinions. Just too many. I reflect on who or what I was yesterday. Its enough.

The problem with life is that, when you are popular, people start to suffocate you EVERYONE wants an opinion, and when you do give it, they will start to hate you because their image of what success is is that is fun to achieve or easy. So you have to just nod and be quite.

Ive regretten often talking, but never being silent.

So if you do become hyper popular, remember this thread and try using silence as a tool to win an extra breath of air,
 

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I love my Twitter but I don’t want my message to be forwarded around (good or bad). I don’t want to be famous on Twitter.

I AM A watcher. I observe. I don’t join.

I have found a certain freedom of movement and activities, when I am not tied-down.

I have a dinky website. Had it since 2002. I actually get nervous— a little bit — when my traffic goes up.

I don’t feel sad at all for the popular people. I know they are built different than me. They can’t force me to follow their desires and they (probably) want no parts of my life.

Too much attention makes me nervous.

I have enough attention via my husband and mother. And a few friends.

My friends know not to contact me too much.
 
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